Francisco van Benthum
I mentioned earlier about the GTJ - Go To Jacket. Here you go with the label that landed me my first GTJ.
I chanced upon this label when I was strolling along the beautiful streets of Amsterdam. Stepped into the boutique and started uncovering more and more.
Tried on a black wool jacket. Fits perfectly. Kept me warm ( it was in winter! ). Made me look good. Check.Check.Check.
Thank you Francisco.
Proper Garment Care
Buying high quality garments, with the assumption that they’re built to last, only means something if you know how to take proper care of your clothes. Stuffing them into overcrowded closets or sending them off to bad dry cleaners will shorten their life considerably. Fortunately, taking care of your clothes doesn’t require much work. You can accomplish it with just a few minutes a day.
For suits and sport coats, dry cleaning twice a year should be sufficient for anything that’s only worn once or twice a week. Sending it in more often than that will shorten the life and ruin the look of a jacket. That’s because most dry cleaners use harsh chemicals and give hard pressings. You can, of course, use a high-quality cleaner that doesn’t employ such methods, but those will cost you more money.
For every day care, brush the dirt out with a soft bristled garment brush. This will prevent them from getting deep into the fabric, where friction can damage the fibers. It’ll also knock out any food bits that may attract moths. You can buy garment brushes from Kent, though sometimes slightly imperfect ones can be had for a bit cheaper on eBay. For something truly nice, Linkson Jack has some brushes backed with oxhorn.
To begin brushing, wipe down any large, unfinished wooden table, and lay your garment down on the surface. A polished table may be too slippery, so if you only have one of those, put your garment on a blanket or strip of felt so it won’t slide about. If this doesn’t work, you can also brush your garment while it’s on a hanger (though I find it’s harder to really bring some pressure to bear on the brush this way). While brushing, use short flicks of the wrist and always brush in the same direction. Never, ever scrub. You can first brush against the nap to remove any dirt, and then down the nap for a smooth finish. Some people even recommend dampening the brush with some water first for a bit of a freshening up, though I’ve never found the need to do this.
For wrinkles, you can let your jackets hang for a day or two. Heavy wools and linens should naturally relax over time. If you still need to sharpen them up, try using a garment steamer, but be careful to stay away from the seams and don’t go too wild with the device. Otherwise, you can ruin the stitching and take out the shape. Afterwards, hang your jacket on a hanger with flared shoulders. The Hanger Project makes the nicest ones I know of. The width and curvature of their shoulders most closely imitate a man’s natural shoulders, which is what you want. If you can’t afford them, however, Wooden Hanger USA sells some very nice options starting at $7.
If your jackets are finely constructed, you may also want to send them in for a hand press once a year or so. This will help restore their shape, which is often what gives a suit its flattering silhouette. Note, a hand press is different from a machine press. Most places will offer the second, even if they advertise it as the first. Machine presses take shape out; hand presses put shape in. If you can’t find someone in your area who can definitely give your garments a hand press, you can send them to Rave Fabricare.
For sweaters, some cotton ones can be machined wash, but most that say they need to be dry-cleaned will be better served by an at-home hand wash. This is a rather simple process, and Jesse covered the how-to two years ago in this post.
For shirts, pre-treat any stained collars and cuffs with Octagon Bar Soap. Soak your shirt in some water, rub the soap in, and scrub with a fingernail brush. Repeat until you see the dirt rings start fading. Then roll up your wet, soapy shirt and leave it overnight in a plastic bag so that it remains moist. The next day, just launder as usual. Alex Kabbaz, one of America’s best custom shirt tailors, recommends Tide’s Unscented Original. I use Ecover, and mix in some Oxiclean if my shirts are still dirty (as per Jesse’s recommendation). To protect the mother of pearl buttons, I sometimes button my shirts and turn them inside out.
For machine washes, you should always try to use the cold water, gentle cycle, but if you really need to treat stains, hot water for whites and warm water for light colors are often acceptable. Dark colors, however, should always be washed with cold water. After the wash, I strongly recommend hang drying. Machine dryers can take the humidity out of your fabrics, leaving them dull and brittle, which will eventually give them a premature worn-out appearance.
As always, make sure you always consult your garment’s care label for more instructions. They’ll usually at least tell you the bare minimum you have to adhere to.
(Photo from The Trad)
This is not to say that those who want to look good and have quality clothing must pay a lot of money. Rather, I think you can look good on almost any budget provided you have an eye for what works for you, a great alterations tailor, a great cobbler and a great dry cleaner. And time, time to search for the best quality you can find at the price you can afford, time to gain experience with what makes for a good and reliable tailor or maker and what makes for bad, time for quality to reveal itself and in so doing make its price justifiable, if not forgotten.
Julian Zigerli SS2013 - My Father was a Military Pilot
I met Julian at the Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy, this past summer. I must say, the thing that first caught my attention was his collection theme; then the video.
Although I later found out that the theme was less of a stylistic direction than a statement of fact, it stil formed the basis for this video. The common theme of discipline in classical ballet and the military seem obvious but it was played up elegantly here.
Printed fabric made into functional clothing seemed linear but it took on a conceptual twist when presented physically and technically by a cast of ballet dancers from the prestigious Zurich Classical Ballet company.
I havent seen a more interesting menswear collection film than this.
I like the concept that chef Johnny Liu wanted when he started this breezy place in the fancy Thong Lor area.
“This is your LIFE. Do what you love. And do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, quit”
Hmmm… Food for thought…
Anyway, the place is casual, classy with good comfort food. I had their signature Crab Benedict and My standard ( on a side note, I think I can be the foremost expert on Cafe Mocha in the world. Drank it for 2 years in a row in NYC and its often my go-to coffee drink. And I digress…)
Very nice and yummy. Ate it in a flash. Haha!
Pullman Bangkok Hotel G
I was kind of skeptical when the Sofitel Bercy in Paris got converted into a Pullman hotel some years ago. What didnt help was when they said the Pullman brand targets business travelers because for me, that means no attention to style, just pure business functionality.
Thankfully, the Accor group doesn’t think that way. Pullman Bercy Paris turned out ok.
This week, I stayed in Pullman Bangkok Hotel G ( whats this thing about hotel names with a single alphabet? )
The entrance is very stylish, with a linear perspective. Black and white tones dominate with classy ornaments peppered all throughout.
What I thought is clever is that the designer used mostly natural lighting to illuminate the main lobby space. Guess what? It looks better leaving the hotel than it is coming in. Guess they want the guests to keep coming back. :-)